An evaluation of the effect of surgical intervention on foot and ankle radiographic comparisons was performed. In this study, 34 sets of pre-surgical (“premortem”) and post-surgical (“postmortem”) foot and ankle radiographs were retrospectively evaluated simulating a postmortem identification. In each radiographic set, the films were separated by a surgical event to reproduce the effects of an alteration in the anatomy. The radiographs included both matches and mismatches. This study also presents a numerical representation of the reliability of a radiographic match following a surgical procedure. Results indicate that surgical intervention with subsequent healing does not preclude positive identification in foot and ankle radiographic comparisons.
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